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Brant Duda is a leader. It comes to him naturally. Life hasn’t always provided Brant the easiest landscape to traverse, but his response has always been the same: To lead the way, not just for himself, but for others too.

Brant experienced two different foster homes when he was placed at age 10. He spent about a year in care and was returned to his mother. At 17, he was removed from his mother's care and went into kinship care with his former step-father. During those placements Brant attended 5 different school districts and 8 schools before he finally settled in Ringgold High School in Carroll Township, Pennsylvania. In addition to being an honor roll student and a standout wrestler.

Brant helped lead the youth of his community any way he could. His contributions comprise quite a list, but it’s worth getting a look at a partial list of the ways he has chosen to act as a role model: He regularly accompanies his Child Welfare Resource Center mentors on their visits to engage and work county child welfare staff to support improved outcomes for children, youth, and families; he attended and participated in Independent Living (IL)Reviews, facilitated youth interviews provided documentation of the content for the IL review report, shared his story of being a foster youth with groups of kids, foster parents, child welfare staff, and classes of social work graduate students, resented a workshop entitled “Youth and Professionals Working Together” at the 2013 Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Conference, presented several times with the Juvenile Law Center Know Your Rights Training. He’s on his way to a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh; not surprisingly, he aspires to take a working with youth in the foster care system as respected, successful leader in the field of social work.

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